Griffon replacement not yet in the cards
June 14, 2017 By The Ottawa Citizen
A number of aerospace firms exhibiting at the recently held CANSEC 2017 defence trade show in Ottawa highlighted the helicopters they hoped they could offer the Canadian government as a replacement for the RCAF’s Griffons.
The companies had heard Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan suggest that a replacement would be needed for the Griffon.
Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters in Canada, briefed journalists at CANSEC pointing out the capabilities of the company’s H145M as a possible replacement for the Griffon. “We made the business case by showing (the RCAF) that by going to a new platform, the Canadian taxpayers would save more than $1 billion,” he explained. Those saving would be made over a 10-year period.
Leonardo Helicopters also has a variety of aircraft that could replace the CH-146.
But the Liberal government’s newly released defence policy did not follow through with a Griffon replacement.
Instead, the Liberals will embark on what they are calling the “CH-146 Griffon Limited Life Extension.”
They didn’t go into details but the emphasis here is “limited.”
It is unclear whether that project will be a stop-gap life extension until a new helicopter procurement could take place.